Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm Back!

Yes, it's been a while since I posted. That's partially due to a couple real life emergencies, but mostly due to my wanting to complete a particular task before updating, and complete it I have. Yes, ladies and gents, I have finally finished... *drum roll*... the "chair" conversation!

Doesn't that sound exciting?

Something I conceived of was that, if I could pursuade the player to view the day/night cycle as the normal cycle of activity (or purposely campaign at night in certain cases), then it would make sense to have a "wind down at the end of the day" kind of conversation. If these conversations took place regularly, then it would be a natural way of developing the relationship between the PC and the companion over subsequent nights. I have visions of having the talks in letterbox format in the darkened room with the firelight dancing about... hopefully, it will turn out to be fun because, while there's not a whole lot of plot development in the chair dialog, there's a ton of character development.

I'm also using it as a means of allowing the player to "input" their character's past into the module without making it obvious. In the "Saleron's Gambit" series, which started at level 1, I invented that past for the character, but this campaign starts at level 5, so the characters could be coming from almost anywhere. The screenshot of the chair conversation included shows that, in this particular point in the dialog, the companion has asked, literally, where the player "comes from" and you can see the sheer number of responses I have allowed for. Subsequently, in Act III, which transfers from Navatranaasu to Waterdeep, there may be a character that says, "Hey, don't you remember me from XXXX" or "I knew your sister in XXXX!" And yes, there is another point where the companion asks about the player's family as well, so if a sister isn't applicable, it may be brother, cousin, friend, etc. And, of course, the companions also tell quite a bit about themselves during these fireside chats.

So the chair dialog is massive. On the dialog editor screenshot, take a look at the circled number. Yes, that's 15,000 words in the one dialog alone. That's what I had estimated originally, and what do you know? I was exactly right! OK, I really only came to 14,999 words originally, so I found a place to insert one more to make it even.

The chair dialog, for what it's worth, brings the total words of dialog in Act II to just under 77,000 thus far, and I estimate about 7,000 more to come. And then there's journals, etc. on top of that.

The second screenshot is a toolset-level view of the player's suite on the upper floor of the VanGhaunt mansion. The chairs in front of the fireplace are seen as is the map detailed in my last post. You can also see the two bedrooms in the suite, the nearby Tyran chapel, and the mansion library (not to be confused with the town archives), all of which will be pivotal in the adventure.

More later...

1 comment:

Maerduin said...

Like the looks of the mansion. I'm making a classy interior myself and have also played around with the floor tiles to give the place that elegant pizazz. Keep at it!